AUF DEN STRASSEN DES
Fröhlich sein und singen, East Germany, 1959
Here is another Friedensfahrt game. This one is called 'Auf den Straßen des Friedens' (on the roads of peace) and was included with issue 4/1959 of the monthly children's magazine "Fröhlich sein und singen". This magazine was renamed to "FRÖSI" in 1965, and that is the name by which it is remebered. It was published by 'Junge Welt', and it was the magazine for members of the pioneer organization Ernst Thälmann and its maximum circulation was of 600,000. The magazine had 32 to 40 pages, and the cover was a triple sheet of light cardboard, featuiring a double-page game.
Breaking again my rule of not buying incomplete magazines, I have found that unfortunately the rules of this game were not printed on the back of the cover (as are on some other FRÖSI games. So all I can do is guess, or wait for someone who has the rules and is kind enough to send them.
My guess is that being an Eastern-block game, players have a team of several riders (probably four, looking at the board) and it is more important to win the team competition than the yellow jersey (individual classment), but there is porobably a minor prize for the first rider to reach the finishing line.
Speaking of the finishing line, the 1959 Friedensfahrt ran from Berlin to Warsaw, but this is not obvious by looking at the board. The track is a closed circuit, and It looks like there are three starting points, each of which placed in a loop arount the three cities (the third is Prague, of course).
Penalty for being paced by a car.
An then we find these mysterious arrows, in the colours of the German, Polish and Czechoslovakian flags.
Flags numbered 1 to 3 appear at every intersection, but the colours of the flags are not easy to interpret.
I observe that each country has flags numbered with a "1" around their main town, then with a "2" to the next destination and with a "3" to the other. This could mean that german riders first race around berlin, then to Prag and finally to Warsaw, while the Czechoslovakian race around Prague, then to Wassaw and then to Berlin, and the Poles do Warsaw-Berlin-Prag. But that is all I can say.
This is Täve Schur, a sporting hero in 1959's GDR, a controversial figure later.
In each town there is a 13 field grid, which is what makes me guess that the game is played by three players, each of which manages a team of four riders each. It is just a guess, but I am willing to bet on it!
Then there is this weird mix of photographs and drawings, but it is not too bad after all.
Double-page game and cover of the magazine (or maybew just the cover of the insert)
Unfortunately the rules are not printed on the back.
UPDATE JUNE 2023:
Siegfried L. has sent his comments and a set of proposed rules for this game.
He suggests that "the colors indicate the direction of the course. It depends on the starting place which arrows you have to follow. You can choose Berlin-Prague-Warsaw, Prague-Warsaw-Berlin or Warsaw-Berlin-Prague (all counter-clockwise). If you start in Berlin you have to follow the arrows in the colors of the German flag. The numbers simply indicate stages 1, 2 or 3. Stage 1 always ends in the starting city of the chosen course. If you start in Prague, the Friedensfahrt ends in Berlin. In this case there is no stage Berlin-Prague, so there is no arrow in Czech colors after leaving Berlin."
I guess that makes sense.
Siegfried also expresses his dislike for the way the photographs are pasted onto the original artwork, especially Täve Schur's hiding Varsaw's St. Kazimierz church.
Here are his proposed rules. In some things, they do not pretend to be like the original ones (which, by the way, I still have not found). For instance, if I were asked, I would say that the original game used only one die, while Sigfried argues that using two dice is the only way to prevent a massive "traffic jam" at the start, and that he feels quite sure that the game used two dice. On the other hand, he concedes that some details of the rules are not necessary to play the game, but he felt that a time trial and a simple drafting rule would give the game more "race feeling". So be it.
You may want to try this game (don't you?). Click here to download the board (JPG file, 5 MB, meant to be printed on a A3 sheet). You will need a couple of dice and a dozen pegs or counters (or cycling figurines if you have ones small enough). Of course, if you object to communist propaganda, you may prefer to download some other game ;-)
Thanks to Gordon for the information about this game.
Description updated in June 2023.
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